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If you love machine embroidery like we do, you know there’s a part of it that feels like magic in motion. Seeing art come to life with stitches and thread is mesmerizing. A machine’s built-in designs, as well as the myriad of embroidery designs you can find online, are the traditional first step. But what if you’re ready to take the next step: customizing and building your very own designs?! That, my friends, is where embroidery software comes into play! Read on for our mini review of three of our favorite features in the Artistic Digitizer software.

Why take the step? Expanded Options + Increased Opportunities + More FUN!

We turned to S4H Seamstress Team Member, Michele Mishler to take us through some of the highlights of the software. Michele has a high level of digitizing skill, but she approached this review as if she were more of a beginner. She gives Artistic Digitizer’s ease-of-use two thumbs up! “You do not need to be an expert to use this software,” says Michele. “The tools are extremely intuitive and all the community support is super helpful. I really believe anyone could get quality results on their very first try.”

We worked with Michele to select three of our favorite features in the software package: PaintStitch Photo-Realistic Embroidery, Intertwined Monograms, and Manipulating Vector Artwork. Are there more things do to with it? Oh my goodness, YES!

As with any purchase, we always recommend gathering as much data as needed to make a well-rounded decision. If after reading through our review you want to browse further, Janome America has a great compilation of additional features on their website as well as details on system requirements, comparisons to other Artistic software packages, projects ideas, and more. Click here.


Stitched on mid-weight linen in 15 colors
Finished Size: 5½” x 5½” — 77,220 Stitches

A picture says a thousand words, but in embroidery, this can be a rather elusive feature. With most digitizing software, it is very difficult to get photo-realistic results. Artistic Digitizer offers a feature called PaintStitch that can convert a picture into embroidery using a patented technique. A tutorial will walk you through the process, and offers many options to refine the results, from the number of colors used to the density of the stitching.

Once the design is created and sent to the embroidery machine, you have the fun of watching the layers of thread build and blend, adding texture and detail as the design progresses.

Our sample uses a photo of a beautiful calico cat. In fact, it’s Rosalie, a sweet kitty belonging to S4H Art Director, Anne Adams!  To us, the stitched result resembled an impressionist painting. Do keep in mind that this amazing finish does require some patience. With 15 changes of color and over 70,000 stitches, the design takes over two hours of embroidery at a moderate speed. But as with all good things, the wait is worth it!

Intertwined Monogram

Stitched on handkerchief linen in 3 colors
Finished Size: 3″ x 4” — 2,398 Stitches

One of the most used features is sure to be Artistic Digitizer’s Lettering and Monogram functions. There is great flexibility, and because the selection of fonts available is almost unlimited, so are your options.

The program makes use of any True Type Font found on your computer or available for download on the internet. In addition, there are a large number of built-in layout templates for the monograms as well as a selection of frames to embellish the letters. 

For our sample, we chose to create an Intertwined Monogram. Michele used the True Type Font Magnolia Sky, adjusting the scale of the letter A and changing the proportions of the overall design. She played with the various options for the intertwining of the letters, finally selecting Break Apart to change the letters into three individual colors. The design was sent to the embroidery machine, and within minutes, the monogram was complete.

The screen shots below show you how easy (and fun!) it is to create.

Vector Artwork

Stitched on silk dupioni in 2 colors
Finished Size: 6″ x 2” — 5,910 Stitches

Artistic Digitizer is a vector based software, so it can take a graphic design to completed embroidery in an instant! For our third sample, we used original artwork that S4H Art Director, Anne Adams created and saved as a vector file. (.eps).

The downloaded .eps file was saved to Michele’s computer. To preview the design, she used a  simple right-click to open it, then selected Artistic Digitizer as the program to use for opening. Instantly, the original artwork opened as a finished embroidery design on the screen. It was so fast and easy, even Michele – as a seasoned embroidery digitizer, was duly impressed.

While the artwork could have been immediately stitched out as-is, there are also still options available to tweak the design. Michele changed the fill from Step fill to Satin fill for the block lettering (Lining), and used the Edit Node function to smooth one of the flourishes in the script lettering (Silver). 

This finished embroidery design (as well as the other samples) stitched out with appropriate underlay and a smooth satin stitch for a beautiful result.

This mini review is just the proverbial tip of the embroidery iceberg! To dive deeper, we encourage you to find out more on the Janome America website

As you work with the software, you’ll find there are lots of great ways to get additional information and inspiration. There are a number of step-by-step videos done by the Artistic software developer available, over 60 tutorial videos directly within the software covering everything from basic functions to complex designs, and they add more videos once or twice a year. Plus, the developer creates project videos, which are on then posted to the the Janome Artistic Digitizer Facebook page.

You will definitely want to join this community where users as well as Janome experts are answering questions, promoting special social media presentations, sharing projects, and more. It’s a moderated group, so simply click to request to join.

Like the snowflakes that make up that iceberg, the creativity this software can unleash is unlimited!

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